Rely On Yourself, And No One Else

Two years ago, when I arrived in the United States, an unfamiliar and attractive land, the sky was clear and blue, and the air crisp and fresh. I, a high school student from China, considered the most promising in my family, was filled with hope and anticipation. I told myself that my goal of coming here was to try my best to get into a good college with a supportive, stimulating learning environment so that I could obtain useful knowledge and receive a quality education. To this day, I still hold this dream dear to my heart. It was, however, shaken vehemently at one point not long ago.

I spent a good part of the summer before the start of my senior year writing my essays and practicing for the SAT test. I worked on my essays and practice tests almost nine hours a day for a full month. I was exhilarated each time I finished drafting an essay that I was happy with, feeling that the time and effort I had put in were all worthy. However, things changed when I saw a message online about writing essays for college applicants. The message indicated that if I wanted guaranteed high-quality essays for my college application, I could pay for someone to write them for me and get into a decent college easily.

I was suspicious and at the same time curious, so I contacted the poster of the message, who told me that they could “help” me write all the essays and apply to colleges. In other words, they could do all the work for me, while I could just stay home, with an ignorant mind, waiting for offers. The only thing I needed to worry about would be money. I was instantly shocked with anger, frustration, and an extreme feeling of unfairness. For a moment, my dream of getting admitted into a good college by dedicating myself to hard work seemed to be collapsing like a colossal skyscraper, and the value of all the effort I had made and all the time and energy I had spent seemed to be vanishing like a cloud of smoke. How could someone get everything that others work and fight hard for so easily with just money, in such a despicable way?

I had a long conversation with my father, who shared his story of becoming successful with me. He told me that he was born in a poor family in the countryside and had no one but himself to help him. He encouraged himself with his one-sentence motto: “Rely on yourself, and no one else.” His words awoke me like the first light of the sun lights up the world. I became cognizant of the significance of myself again. Admittedly, one could possibly get in a great college the “easy” way, but the essence of education which is absorbing more knowledge would be completely lost. The acquisition of knowledge entails dedicated work by oneself. I am the greatest treasure that nothing else could be. The ideas of relying on myself, doing my very best, and not taking the “easy” route, have stuck in my head since then, which has helped me learn and thrive.

Therefore, this small episode did not interrupt my pursuit for success; rather, it helped push my sailboat toward success forward. The sailboat is now equipped with all the knowledge I have acquired through hard work and steadily sailing towards its destination. I am more ready than ever for my senior year and for my new life in college.

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Rely On Yourself, And No One Else. (2023, Jan 26). Retrieved from